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Joey McIntyre will help usher in the city's official Christmas tree on Dec. 1.

McIntyre will perform during the pre-lighting ceremony on the Common at 7 p.m. before the tree - an annual gift from Nova Scotia - is switched on. Other performers include American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus, the Radio City Rockettes, Rockapella, the Boston Ballet, the Boston Children's Choir and saxophonist Grace Kelly.

Mayor Menino, Santa Claus, Deputy Nova Scotia Premier Frank Corbett and some Mounties will throw the switch to light up the 45-foot white spruce donated this year by Ken and Donna Spinney of Central Argyle. The province donates a tree to the city in honor of the medical aid Boston sent to Halifax after an explosion in Halifax harbor in 1917 caused by a collision between two ships, one fully loaded with munitions.

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Sorry to play amateur editor, but no celebrities are needed for this to be a news story. It's a great tradition that acknowledges a great humanitarian act from generations ago.

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This is an example of one type of aid that Boston sent to Halifax, in addition to clearing out the medical and nursing schools onto trains - Quick build temporary shelter housing:
IMAGE(http://museum.gov.ns.ca/site-museum/media/mmatestv2/exp%20housing%201.jpg)

CAPTION: Temporary Housing Supplied by Massachusetts Relief
MMA Charles A. Vaughan Collection, N-14,174 and N-14,127

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax has a rather intense exhibit on the explosion, which was the largest human caused explosion until the atomic bomb era. I thought the saddest piece was a dress that a mother had just completed and had her daughter try on when the explosion levelled the house and killed the mother (the daughter was somehow thrown near enough to the stove to survive the several hours until her father found her alive in the wreckage).

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